Neal McCoy Biography

Hubert Neal McGaughey Jnr. (surname pronounced McGoy), 30 July 1963, Jacksonville, Texas, USA. McCoy grew up with a love of honky-tonk country as well as pop, soul and big band music. He started performing as Neal McGoy (the pronunciation of his birth name) and his break came in 1981 when Janie Fricke was a judge in a talent contest that he won. She mentioned McCoy to Charley Pride, who signed him to a booking and management contract and asked him to be his opening act. After spending six years with Pride, McCoy left to launch his own recording career in 1988. His debut single was ‘That’s How Much I Love You’ on 16th Avenue Records, but in 1990, he moved to Atlantic Records and adjusted his name to Neal McCoy. After several minor hits, including ‘If I Built You A Fire’, ‘Where Forever Begins’, ‘Now I Pray For Rain’ and ‘No Doubt About It’, McCoy found success with his excellent third album (No Doubt About It) and had his first US country number 1s with the title-track and ‘Wink’. His fourth album also sold over a million and the title track ‘You Gotta Love That’ was a Top 10 hit, staying on the US country singles chart for over a year.

Further releases saw McCoy’s sales gradually slipping from his mid-90s peak, although the quality of his albums (notably 1999’s Life Of The Party) remained remarkably consistent. He relocated to Warner Brothers Records for 2000’s 24-7-365 and the belated follow-up The Luckiest Man In The World. At the start of 2005, McCoy and his manager Karen Kane launched the 903 Music label. The singer made his 903 debut later in the year with That’s Life.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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